Faithwire reports that members of the Greater Purpose Community Church in Santa Cruz are allowed to drink beer or wine while listening to the pastor’s teachings.
This new trend started after the church sold its building and started meeting at a local food lounge with alcoholic beverages.
Now, a typical service has parishioners listening to Pastor Chris VanHall’s sermons while comfortably drinking beer or wine in a comfortable atmosphere where “people cannot only listen to a progressive take on theology but can also engage in conversation.”
Explaining his reason for asking the bartenders to keep serving during the service, he said, “there’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t drink alcohol in a responsible manner.”
He added, “Jesus drank wine and had a reputation of hanging out in places where people consumed alcohol. But for some reason, American churches have been vigilant in saying ‘You can’t drink alcohol.'”
This idea sits well with lounge owner Andrea Mollenauer who said, “Why not serve beer when they’re reading Bible verses? I thought it was genius.”
Pastor VanHall is taking things a step further by announcing plans to build a brewery like no other.
Unlike the usual brewery, this one will double as a church facility where services will be held with 30 and 60 percent of the profits going to charity.
“I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if a church could figure out a way to make a product where they split the profits with local community service organizations, we were like ‘hey, we love beer, we love making beer, why not do a brewery?'” said Pastor VanHall.
With this in mind, he is turning an old bookstore in downtown Santa Cruz into a brewery with church services on Sundays. Afterward, the building will be open to the public.
“We don’t want to dupe anyone, we don’t want to have this bar, and say ‘ok come on in’ and boom you get a church service,” he said.”We don’t want that.”
“[Attendees] can have one or two [drinks]. As a matter of fact, if they have two, my sermon’s always better,” VanHall added.
Would you drink during a church service?